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April 27, 2015

HOMER Software Grows from NREL Origins to Standard for Global Microgrids

While Peter Lilienthal was a senior economist with NREL's International Programs Office from 1990-2007, he saw the need for a better way to design hybrid renewable energy microgrids. He began developing the Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewables (HOMER) software, a computer model that simplifies modeling both the technical and economic factors involved in village or community-scale power system projects. After signing a licensing agreement with NREL, he left the laboratory and founded HOMER Energy to enhance and commercialize the software. Now, HOMER is the global standard for designing microgrids with more than 115,000 users worldwide.

April 21, 2015

Energy Department Announces New Tools for Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Deployment

The Energy Department has announced two new tools developed through H2USA to help address technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. The tools, the the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST) and the Hydrogen Refueling Stations Analysis Model (HRSAM), were developed by NREL and Argonne National Laboratory respectively to address the key technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. Additionally, NREL and Sandia National Laboratories published two task reports through the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project, which supports H2USA by addressing critical R&D barriers to station deployment.

April 17, 2015

NREL and Partners Review Key Issues, Lessons Learned from U.S. Wind Integration Studies and Operating Practices

As a complement to DOE's recently released Wind Vision Report, a new paper summarizes the lessons learned from actual power systems operational practice, along with some of the most relevant and comprehensive wind integration studies conducted during the past several years.

April 16, 2015

NREL's ESIF Offers Equipment Testing on Grand Scale

NREL Power Systems Engineering Center Director Dr. Ben Kroposki spoke to Smart Grid Today about the unique capabilities of the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

April 14, 2015

NREL Teams with Southern California Gas to Launch First Power-to-Gas Project in U.S.

Demonstration projects will create and test a power-to-gas concept that uses electricity from renewable sources to make carbon-free hydrogen gas.

April 14, 2015

NREL Releases Report Describing Guidelines for PV Manufacturer Quality Assurance

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released an updated proposal that will establish an international quality standard for photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. The document is intended for immediate use by PV manufacturers when producing modules on an industrial scale so they can increase investor, utility, and consumer confidence in PV system performance.

April 13, 2015

Assuring Solar Modules Will Last for Decades

NREL heads international effort to toughen standards, ensure reliability of solar PV systems.

March 19, 2015

Discovering Drop-In Biofuels to Leverage Petroleum Refineries

In the search for abundant and sustainable options to petroleum-derived fuels, biofuels stand out as a promising alternative. An NREL study is determining which biomass-derived oxygenates are most commercially feasible in drop-in fuels that are compatible with existing engines and fuel distribution.

March 9, 2015

NREL Tool Finds Effective Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Configurations

The Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has used the Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool (BLAST) to confirm that energy storage for demand-charge management can deliver attractive economic benefits. The analysis paired recent utility rate structures with historic data on solar photovoltaic electricity generation and commercial facility loads to evaluate 6,860 unique scenarios. The results revealed that, in the absence of incentives, small battery systems reducing peak demand by 2.5 percent offer the most attractive return on investment.

February 26, 2015

NREL Refines Method to Convert Lignin to Nylon Precursor

A new study from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrates the conversion of lignin-derived compounds to adipic acid, an important industrial dicarboxylic acid produced for its use as a precursor to nylon, plasticizers, lubricants, polyesters, and other popular products and chemicals.

February 23, 2015

NREL Science Crucial to Success of New Biofuels Plants

DuPont-NREL partnership lowered costs, proved success, paved way to 30-million-gallon facility opening in Iowa.

February 13, 2015

2014 Energy Systems Integration Facility Annual Report Available for Download

New report highlights research and achievements for the ESIF in its first year of operation.

February 12, 2015

Testing at NREL Aids Solar Power in Hawaii

Inverter load rejection overvoltage (LRO) tests completed by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of a cooperative research agreement with SolarCity have proven so successful that a testing partner, Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), has proposed to double its hosting capacity for solar energy.

January 23, 2015

New Video Shows How NREL Is Redefining What's Possible for Renewable Energy Through Grid Integration

NREL is spearheading engineering innovations that will help optimize the entire energy system, and the lab's analysis capabilities complement that engineering work by identifying ways to integrate renewable energy effectively and economically. This 3-minute video shows how NREL research and analysis are redefining what’s possible for renewable energy on the grid.

January 16, 2015

NREL, Collaborators Complete Gearbox of Innovative Drivetrain

NREL researchers and industrial collaborators have completed the fabrication of a new gearbox and power converter software as a part of their ongoing project to create an innovative drivetrain.

January 12, 2015

NREL's CelA Catalyzes Plant Cell Walls Faster

Enzyme from bacteria could lower prices for biofuels.

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